Thursday, September 23, 2010

GCC Author Interview and Book Giveaway: Marilyn Brant

Just because the GCC has a fancy new blog, that doesn't mean that we still won't be touring our fabulous authors!  Today I've got the fabulous Marilyn Brant here to chat about her latest.  (How great is this cover?!)

But wait!  There's more!  Marilyn will be giving away a signed copy of an ARC of Friday Mornings at Nine!  Just leave a comment below to enter to win!!  Don't forget to leave me your info so that I can contact you if you win.  Winners will be announced on October 7th.

So, let's all hear from Marilyn!

Q: Tell us about your most recent novel in 30 words or less.
A: Friday Mornings at Nine is a modern fairy tale about three suburban moms who each begin to question whether they’d married the right man or were living the right lives.

Q: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
A: From conversations I overhear, things my friends tell me, funny stuff that happened in my family, incidents I’ve observed out in public, stories I’ve read in books or seen on TV and those endless “what if?” questions writers always ask themselves.

Q: What is the inspiration behind this novel?
A: I’ve talked with a lot of women about their marriages -- and, in some cases, about their affairs. Sometimes these revelations came in the form of random comments thrown out unexpectedly. Other times they were part of well thought out discussions about whether the women in question should or shouldn’t stay married. I met my husband 20 years ago and we’ve been married for almost 18 of those years. I consider us to be happy, but I don’t know anyone who’s been married that long who hasn’t experienced some ups and downs. I think the fortunate couples are the ones who keep choosing to be together and work on their relationships despite all of those years and the inevitable changes. Of course, it takes both people to do that, and it also takes a lot of time and effort. The individuals involved have to want to get to know now these people they married (who may be different creatures than the ones they met a decade or more before), and they need to really pay attention to their own needs and desires, too. Sometimes, in the process of that kind of deep analysis, it turns out there was a profound disconnect somewhere along the line. In some cases, it’s possible to reconnect. In others, not so much. So, essentially, I wanted to write a story about three women who have marital disconnects to some degree that makes them wonder what would have happened if they’d chosen differently. Then I wanted them to finally take the time to examine their lives so they could choose mindfully where to head next.

Q: If they made a movie of this book, who would you cast to portray the characters?

A: I'd love to see this onscreen! (And I’d try to find a way to get Johnny Depp in there somewhere…LOL.) For the main characters, though, I imagine someone like Kate Winslet for Bridget, Calista Flockhart for Jennifer and Kim Cattrall for Tamara. Definitely a cast I'd enjoy seeing together!

Q: When did you first begin writing?
A: I wrote songs and poems and little stories in elementary school, but sixth grade was when the notion of writing professionally first occurred to me. Aside from being on the newspaper and yearbook staff in high school, though, I didn’t take writing seriously until I was about 30. Then, I spent the next several years writing completed manuscripts and submitting them to agents and editors before my fifth one, which was According to Jane, finally sold.

Q: What do you think readers might be surprised to know about you?
A: This has absolutely nothing to do with writing (which is, perhaps, why it’ll be surprising), but I was a member of a touring dance group in college and spent six weeks dancing through Europe the summer I was 19. We performed at festivals in France, Spain, Switzerland and Italy, and I met some absolutely fascinating people. That experience solidified my love of travel, my chocolate addiction and my lifelong adoration of the jitterbug. It also greatly aided in my appreciation of European men...

Q: What is your advice for those who looking to get their novel published?
A: Don’t follow trends just because you think it’ll be an easier sell. And write the books that fit your voice. If what you love writing happens to be a hot-selling genre, great. If your writing voice happens to be perfect for the genre you want to write in and love to read, that’s awesome, too. But -- if not -- write long and hard enough to find what DOES fit you and your style best. Because then, even if it takes longer to make that first sale than you expect, you’re writing the kinds of stories you most enjoy, and that passion has a way of working itself into the projects you’re creating.

Marilyn Brant has been a classroom teacher, a library staff member, a freelance writer and a national book reviewer. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and son, surrounded by towers of books that often threaten to topple over and crush her. A proud member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, Marilyn's debut novel featuring "Jane" won the Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart® Award. When not working on her next book, she enjoys traveling, listening to music and finding new desserts to taste test. Readers can visit her website at


Marilyn Brant said...

Brenda, thank you so much for having me as your guest -- you're wonderful! And I'm looking forward to sharing a copy of the new book with one of your readers ;).

Michele Cozzens said...

This book is definitely one I'd like to read. Nice interview, Brenda.


Brett said...

Great interview! I would love to see either of your first two books made into movies, Marilyn! And great choices for casting!!

Most people may not know that you were in that dance group in college, but it was no secret to me since I was in the group with you!!! hehehe ;)

Enjoy the book release next week!

Edie Ramer said...

Terrific interview! Don't enter me in the giveaway. I've read an ARC of Fridays already, and loved it! I can definitely see the actresses you chose in the roles. I'd love to see that movie.

Llehn said...

Thanks for the interview! I'd love to play for a copy please!


Marilyn Brant said...

Michele, so nice of you to visit -- thank you!

Brett!!! You *do* know that! You're one of the few guys I know who can actually jitterbug, too ;).

Edie, how wonderful you are to stop by here, too! Wouldn't it be great to see our books made into films? I'd love to see your novel Cattitude on the screen!

Llehn~hi! Thank you for taking time to read the Q&A -- Brenda was such a gracious host!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend ;).

Tonya said...

I am a HUGE fan, and I haven't been able to get my hands on Fridays at Nine yet. I would love to, but either way, I LOVED the interview!!! Cheers to an awesome author!

Elissa Graham said...

I think this book sounds wonderful and after hearing Marilyn's ideas for the cast I want to read it even more. I'm in Australia BTW which probably means I'm ineligible to win but I will be keeping an eye out for it here!

mariska said...

I've been wanting to read this book. please enter me in for the copy giveaway :)

uniquas at ymail dot com

Marilyn Brant said...

Just wanted to stop back and say hi to Tonya, Elissa and Mariska! So nice of you all to visit ;).

holdenj said...

What a nice interview, the new book looks great and I sure enjoyed Jane. Thanks for the info and chance to win.